Monday, January 3, 2011

    Switching: iPhone to Android

    In case you missed it, Android is hot.  So hot, in fact, that according to Nielsen (as reported by Boy Genius Report) it's picked up the highest adoption rate in the past six months.  40.8% of all smartphones purchased in the last six months were Android phones.  While iOS still has the largest consumer footprint among smartphones in the US, with 28.6% of smartphones overall being iOS devices, Android devices have pulled to within 2.8%, with 25.8% of smartphones overall being Android devices, and the rate of growth far exceeds that of iOS.

    Given those figures, even if you're a current iOS fanboy user, it's highly likely that you've given some thought to what it would be like to switch to an Android phone.  You know, just thought about it.  But, how does one go about such a thing?  

    Switching smartphones is quite a daunting prospect, in some ways more difficult than switching computer OSes.  How do you get your contacts, email and calendar transferred?  What about the apps you use day in and day out?  The answers may surprise you.

    Before we get into the basics, though, let's talk about one of the killer, compelling reasons to use an Android phone:  Google.

    Most Android phones (some of the Samsung phones on Verizon being the notable exceptions) are tightly integrated with the Google experience.  By tightly, I mean that your contacts, email, calendar, IMs, etc will all reside in the cloud, synced with Google's servers.  This is a beautiful, beautiful thing.  If your phone ever dies or you switch to another Android phone, the fact that everything is synced in the cloud means that getting it all back is as easy as signing in to your Google account on your Android phone.  

    While using an Android phone without a Google account is doable, why would you want to do this?  Some of the true power of Android is derived from this close association with the Google services.  Another way to look at it is like this:  If you don't want to buy into the Google experience lock, stock and barrel, then an Android phone probably isn't for you.  

    It doesn't mean you have to use Google solely, there are great apps out there for things like Yahoo Mail and Messenger, for instance.  But, if you don't even want to set up a Google account and use the killer Google provided apps, then maybe you should stick with your iPhone.  You'll probably be a lot happier in the long run.

    The blog posts in this series are designed to give a bit of a walk through on switching from your iPhone to an Android phone.  We'll cover the basics, such as moving your contacts, email and calendar.  We'll also delve into some of the alternatives Android provides to the iOS ecosystem, like living without iTunes, or better yet, living with iTunes and Android.  We'll take a look at killer apps that you can't (and shouldn't) live without, and we'll look at shortcomings of both the iPhone and Android.  Finally, in the end there will hopefully be a clear path on how to migrate from your iPhone to an Android phone.

    Be forewarned, though:  This is not for the faint of heart.  It is not without pain and it's not as easy as pushing a button and making it go.  But, in the end, you can move from your iPhone to an Android phone, and when you do, you may never look back.

    Series Posts
    Switching Contacts